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Obituary – Benjamin T. Ackison, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.)

In loving memory of Benjamin T. Ackison, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.) 

December 15, 1971 – December 16, 2023

Benjamin T. Ackison, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.), known as Ben or Benny to his family and friends, passed away on December 16, 2023. Born on December 15, 1971, Ben lived an outsized life over his 52 years and made a lasting impact on all those who knew him.

Ben grew up in the mountains of West Virginia and the beaches of Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

He learned to track, hunt, and shoot from his grandfather at “Camp Joy,” the family cabin in West Virginia. Ben played a different sport every season and surfed in the summers. 

He graduated from Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, and James Madison University where he was a wide receiver for the Dukes football team.  

Ben received a law degree at Regent University School of Law and a Master of Laws from George Washington University Law School.

Early in his career, Ben worked in sports and entertainment alongside his friend and mentor, Blake Cullen. 

At age 25, Ben became the first general manager of the Outer Banks Daredevils, a collegiate summer baseball league team in North Carolina. 

He also co-produced the Jazz on Granby music series in Norfolk, Virginia. 

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Ben heard the call to service and joined the U.S. Marine Corps as an Officer and Judge Advocate. 

Ben served across the globe during his more than 20-year career with the Marines, including in Afghanistan, Japan, Thailand, California, North Carolina, and at the Pentagon in Virginia. 

In Afghanistan, Ben supported combat operations as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate to First Marine Division, the command unit for all Marine Ground Forces in theater, and as the legal advisor to Regimental Combat Team 2. 

Among his many roles stateside, Ben served as the senior Marine criminal defense counsel for the Western United States. 

Ben lived in Leucadia for several years and frequented Beacon’s Beach where he spent some of his favorite moments riding early morning waves with the Surf Posse, a close-knit group of Marine Officers and their young sons.

Ben’s greatest love was being a father to his daughter, Angelina Rose Ackison, a freshman at West Virginia University. 

Ben attended her dance recitals, took her to daddy-daughter dances, and learned to braid her hair so it would not tangle. Ben was an unabashed “girl dad” and Angelina was the love of his life.

Ben is survived by daughter Angelina Rose Ackison, parents Larry Ronald Ackison and Barbara Sue Ackison, eldest brother Larry Ronald Ackison II along with sister-in-law Bonnie Anne Ackison, nephew Garret Logan Ackison, niece Lauren Grace Ackison, younger brother Chadwick Bryant Ackison, younger sister Felicia Nicole Ackison, nephew Jake Remus Armstrong, and all the JMU Dukes, U.S. Marines and other friends and family that had the pleasure and honor to know him. 

A memorial service will be held at Tidewater Central Church of the Nazarene in Virginia Beach, Virginia on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. with light fare for family and friends to follow. 

A closed internment will be held for family and fellow Marines at National Memorial Cemetery at Quantico, Virginia on Monday, March 11, 2024.

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